Why and Where to Use Tactile Indicator Studs

20 Jul 2022 by Classic Architectural Group

Tactile ground surface indicators empower the visually impaired to navigate with confidence

Supporting building professionals Australia-wide, Classic’s mission is to enhance the accessibility and safety of public spaces for everyone. We strive to better serve our communities by giving people with disabilities the right to dignified, safe and independent access to the built environment.

According to Vision 2020 Australia, it is important to note that over 575,000 Australians are blind or vision impaired, with more than 70% of those over the age of 65 classed as blind.

Why and Where to Use Tactile Indicator StudsChannel 9 HQ, Sydney – Image Credit: Active Metal Pty Ltd

While many of the population may walk across tactile ground surface indicators (TGSI’s) in high-traffic areas without a second thought, TGSI’s play a crucial navigator and environmental cue for those with vision impairments.

Tactile studs fall in two primary categories:

Warning tactile indicators

Why and Where to Use Tactile Indicator StudsWarning Tactiles SH10N – installed at Sydney Cricket Ground

Commonly referred to as hazard tactile indicators, these textured surface features function much like a stop sign when applied to walking surfaces. Alerting vision-impaired pedestrians to impending hazards in their line of travel, helping them determine how best to proceed.

Directional tactile indicators

Why and Where to Use Tactile Indicator StudsDirectional Tactile PT39

Also known as leading tactile indicators, these are textured surface features with directional bars to provide directional orientation and designate the continuous accessible route to be taken.

Working in synergy, tactile ground surface indicators empower visually impaired pedestrians to enjoy confident, independent mobility within urban environments.

TGSI Luminance Contrast Testing

Another important aspect of tactile indicators is their ability to provide luminance contrast. Calculated in accordance with AS1428.4.1-2009, luminance contrast is a measure that compares the luminance reflectance of two different surfaces.

For TGSI’s, this is the difference in the amount of light reflected from the tactiles compared to the amount of light that’s reflected from the base surface. Tactile tiles should have 30% luminance contrast while tactile individuals should have 45% to 60%.

To ensure your project meets all compliance requirements, Classic also offers Luminance Contrast Testing. Explore our comprehensive range of tactile ground surface indicators.

Refer to the following standards to ensure your project’s compliance

  • Australian Standards (AS 1428.1-2009| Design for Access and Mobility)
  • The National Construction Code/Building Code of Australia
  • The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA)

However, it’s essential to remember that tactiles alone will not make an unsafe environment safe. Playing an important secondary role in providing vital warning and directional information, the emphasis still falls on the good design and planning of public spaces.

Public applications of tactile studs

Stairways, ramps, escalators and moving travelators are designed to improve efficiency and traffic flow, however, they often pose a challenge for the vision impaired. When tactile indicators are installed in accordance with AS guidelines, they provide adequate warning of impending hazards and orientation prompts.

Why and Where to Use Tactile Indicator StudsMacquarie University, NSW

6 public access areas that are non-negotiable for the installation of tactile indicators

We’ve made a list of the public spaces that must have tactiles installed but here’s a quick reminder:

  1. Railway platforms – warning TGSI’s are used on the platform edges for safety, and directional TGSI’s provide a valuable means of providing wayfinding information
  2. Stairways – to reduce the risk of falls and hazards, particularly stairs with irregular steps or lack of handrails
  3. Escalators – to determine where the escalator begins and ends
  4. Passenger conveyors/ moving travelators – alerting to the approach of a moving travelator
  5. Ramps – areas with a sudden change in incline
  6. Areas that lack suitable barriers – hazards that are not protected by railings or other purpose-built barriers
  7. Pedestrian crossings – to indicate where a safety crossing begins and ends

For more information on the types and application of tactile studs, please refer to our Tactiles Product Application Guide. You can also view our past projects for further inspiration.

Versatile TGSI solutions to meet your aesthetic and functional goals

While safety is always of paramount importance, Classic Architectural Group’s practical access solutions are also architecturally designed to complement your project’s aesthetic vision. From stainless steel and brass, to poly and ceramic, we offer a diversity of styles and colours to meet your tactile floor safety requirements.

Why and Where to Use Tactile Indicator StudsClassic Tredfx Brass Tiles – 130 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne

With expert consultation and advice, our team can tailor a solution to align with your project. From design to supply and installation, Classic’s here to get you one step ahead.

To learn more about tactile indicators or for a custom access solution, please contact us by calling 1300 244 377 today.

Classic Architectural Group
The leading supplier of stair safety and floor safety products. Classic Architectural Group specialise in end-to-end fulfilment from consultation, design, manufacturing, supply and installation. In business for over 41 years, their trusted brands include Classic Integra commercial entrance matting and Classic Tredfx safety stair nosings and tactile indicators. Their offering also spans Classic car park safety products and bike racks, and Classic Skatestop skate deterrents, making them a one-stop shop for all things stair and floor safety! As creators and innovators Classic monitor architectural trends and offer their products in a variety of styles and colours to complement any design or layout. With local manufacturing they provide customised solutions to address design aesthetics and functional/safety requirements. Classic Architectural Group are proud to be an 100% Australian owned business, with local manufacturing, and people and operations across Australia. Classic’s 3D/AR visualisation technology will speed up your design and construction process – saving you time and money! Visit their website to visualise your product selection, e.g. entrance matting, stair nosings, tactiles, on your preferred stair/floor surface. This cutting-edge technology will help you to gain an accurate sense of scale, depth and spatial understanding of their public access safety products. With an impressive portfolio of work across all key industry sectors, the team at Classic work closely with many architectural and construction firms including Lend Lease, Multiplex, Kane, Taylor, John Holland, ADCO Constructions, Woods Bagot, Conrad Gargett, Thomson Adsett, Architectus, Bates Smart, Buchan, Cox Architecture, Silver Thomas Hanley (STH), Icon, Built, Watpac, Richard Crookes Constructions, Hutchinson Builders, Hansen Yuncken, and Roberts Co, as well as working with many flooring contractors including Floor91, Embelton and Master Carpets.


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